Why Take Sewage To The Office For Lunch?
Time's up on the microwave and you know it's coming: the foul stench of a coworker's leftovers from last night. Why does anyone eat boiled codfish with anchovies and cabbage anyway, let alone warm it up for lunch the next day? The nightmare continues as you realize that the leftovers are being devoured in the cubicle next to you, and there are no windows or walls to protect you.
We've all been there. When you're sitting in front of a monitor for five straight hours or dealing with pesky phone calls all morning, there are certain foods that just seem to add to your workplace angst.
To help you peacefully coexist with your coworkers from 9 to 5 (or 6 a.m. to midnight if you're doing the startup business or online freelance writer thing), here's a list of munchies that you'll probably want to avoid. (Of course, if you're looking for surefire ways to annoy your fellow office-mates, be sure to add these to your grocery list.)
Even though most of us can probably recognize the scent of tuna, the consumption of such a sandwich will no doubt elicit inquiries such as: "Is someone eating tuna?" or "What's that smell?" or "Did you bathe this year?" Other seafood products will also cause a similar reaction. In one extreme incident: Fish was reheated in the microwave and the lingering odor was so strong that the microwave was physically removed from the office kitchen. (True story.)
If you somehow manage to get your hands on a durian, considered the "king" of tropical fruits, be sure to leave it at home. The infamous fruit which is native to Southeast Asia has been banned in hotels and on public transportation because of its gag-inducing stink. If you just can't live without the taste of durians, try a durian cookie or durian ice cream. Or better yet, move to Southeast Asia and away from me!
And don't forget to save the popcorn for the movie theater. The smell of microwave popcorn can quickly permeate an entire floor. When it's burnt, be prepared for dirty looks.
Even if your food is aromatic, don't be surprised if your coworkers are still perturbed. They probably wish they could have a forkful of your pasta or a bite of your burrito.
If you're chewing so loudly that people are starting to feel like they're working in a construction zone, that's not such a good thing. Foods like potato chips or CornNuts may disrupt your coworkers' abilities to concentrate.
Snack foods like Cheetos can also be disturbing if you don't thoroughly wipe your hands after eating them. (Remember those television commercials with the orange handprints?)
The best way to turn any of these annoying foods into non-annoying ones is to bring plenty to share with the rest of the office. For some reason, foods just don't smell or sound as bad when you're the one chowing down. This isn't always feasible (or cost-efficient), of course.
This doesn't mean that you should starve yourself in order to make friends in the workplace. Simply show some consideration for those around you. And, hey, it might be a good idea to take your lunch and eat it at the park or by the water if you're lucky enough to be situated near either, and the weather's cooperating. Or lobby for a dining area on your floor, even if it's just one table and as long as it's not within proximity of stressed-out coworkers. The solution could be as simple as moving the microwave to a spot away from the desks and cubicles.
With a little consideration and perhaps a dash of creativity, you can keep your lunchtime from transforming your workplace into a war zone.
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